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Fishing Gear

  • April 3, 2014

    Field Test: Best Bowfishing Rigs


    By Will Brantley

    Photo by Satoshi

    Don't trash your whitetail bow shooting carp, suckers, and gar. Get a dedicated bowfishing rig. We tested four top models to find out which one is best for you. [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 13, 2014

    Gear Review: GRAYL Filtration Cup


    By Tim Romano

    I almost never pack water when going out on a fishing adventure, unless I absolutely have to. Be that a couple of hours out on my local trout creek or a multi-night wilderness backpacking trip. I feel there's simply no reason to lug the extra weight if the water I’m fishing is relatively clean.

    Instead, I choose to bring tablets, filter straws, or most frequently, bottles with filter straws like the Katadyn MyBottle Purifier. While these items DO get the job done, most just don't work well enough in my opinion. It takes an incredible amount of energy to suck just a tiny bit of water through the filter — never quite quenching your thirst if you're craving a couple of gulps of water. [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 12, 2014

    7 Reasons Why a Machete is the Only Multitool You Really Need

    By Shane Townsend

    Photo by Gorman Studio

    If I could have only one tool, it’d be a machete. People around the world have long relied on the machete, kukri (shown here), and other close kin to hunt, fish, farm, build, process food, and fashion all types of tools. Every machete has at least seven smaller tools built into it. Your creativity and practice will unlock the full utility of each, but here’s a start. [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 28, 2014

    Gear Review: Ghillie Kettle


    By Tim Romano

    If you're the type of angler/hunter/camper that likes the idea of being able to boil water without relying on any fuel, go on extended fishing or hunting trips where the weight of fuel is an issue to carry, or just like the smell of wood smoke, the Ghillie Kettle might be for you.

    I started using one last fall. It’s basically a double-walled boiler with a chimney and is remarkably simple in its operation. It does the same thing any other backpacking stove does, only you don't need to carry any fuel. You just use small sticks, dried grass or any other combustibles that might be lying around to boil water. [ Read Full Post ]

  • January 29, 2014

    Fly Shops vs Online: Is "Showrooming" Fair or Foul?

    By Kirk Deeter

    I'm all for doing as much research as possible before buying any fly gear. Heck, if companies are going to charge $800 bucks for a fly rod or a rain suit, they should expect consumers to do as much poking around as possible. And there's nothing wrong with looking for a deal when you can find it. But "showrooming" has become a real problem for many retailers in this country. 

    Here's what happens: Anglers do the majority of their research online, hopefully they read some magazine and/or online product reviews, and have their mind set on what they want to buy. But it's hard to really know for sure with some gear — at least in the case of a fly rod. Most anglers won't know if they like a rod or not until they actually pick it up and cast it. So they head to the fly shop, try a few rods, and get the spiel from the person behind the counter. And when they're really sure about what they want... they go home and order it online. [ Read Full Post ]

  • January 22, 2014

    Do You Really Need a Landing Net?

    By Kirk Deeter

    For me, the use of a landing net has always been dictated by the situation. I always carry a net when I am guiding or fishing with others; I almost never do when wading by myself. It doesn't matter how big the fish are, which species, or even where I am.

    But my views on this are changing and I wonder if any of yours are as well. The thing is, with the latest generation of rubberized mesh nets and the light composite materials the frames are now made from, I have found myself using them more on my own. And a beautiful net is, as I have said before, a piece of art that's every bit as much of an heirloom as a favorite rod or reel can be. I'm proud of my net. By using nets more often now, I wonder if I getting lazy or am I starting to see the light? [ Read Full Post ]

  • January 20, 2014

    Gear Review: DeLorme inReach SE 2-Way Satellite Communicator with GPS


    By Kirk Deeter

    I spend a lot of time fishing and hunting in the backcountry, and I'm not just talking about places where the cell phone doesn't work, I'm talking about jungles in South America, and the Russian taiga, and well past the sight of shore on the open oceans. So satellite communication has become increasingly important in my travels. The margin for error when it comes to ease of use and reliability is practically non-existent, in my mind, so it's important to use something you trust, because in some cases, somebody's life might depend on it.  

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • November 12, 2013

    Load Adjustments: How To Make A Backpack Carry Its Own Weight


    By Ben Romans

    Photo by Jeff Wilson, Illustrations by Mike Sudal

    Years ago, trying to hastily pack out a mule deer buck from Idaho's backcountry in one trip, I carried a heavy, irregular pack too low and in the process damaged a spinal disc, pinched nerves in my hip, and lost feeling in my ham hocks for weeks. Here are a few tips to help you shoulder a heavy load comfortably and safely—and avoid the physical therapy and chiropractic sessions I had to go through.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • October 16, 2013

    Is This Your Jeep?


    By Steven Hill

    In the market for a hunting buggy, a project vehicle, or (perish the thought) a character-building experience for your teenage daughter? Then the Enid, Okla., Craigslist has got a deal for you: A 1997 Jeep Cherokee that comes with crank mirrors, a pinhole radiator leak and the best used-car ad ever written.  

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • September 23, 2013

    2014 Toyota Tundra Preview: Test Driving In The North Georgia Hills


    By Nate Matthews

    The full-size pickup truck segment is arguably the most competitive in the automotive industry, says Toyota.

    My first impression of the 2014 Toyota Tundra is, "holy sh*t, look at how big the scoop is on the top of that grille.” I write this down in my notebook. Me and Mac Demere are sitting in plush leather chairs on the grounds of Barnsley Gardens, a beautiful southern golfer’s retreat built around the ruins of an old plantation house deep in the hills of North Georgia. The truck is on screen behind Bill Fay, Toyota’s General Manager, who is running through the vehicle’s new features before turning us loose to play with the real thing for an afternoon.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • September 20, 2013

    Behind the Scenes at Orvis: The Raw Graphite Freezer


    By Tim Romano

    Have you ever seen $50,000 worth of graphite in a freezer?

    Me neither. Until two weeks ago, when Kirk and I got a tour of the Orvis Rod factory.

    What you're looking at is rolls and rolls of raw sheet graphite, destined for future fly rods.  After asking three different shop employees how much this pile was worth I heard three different answers. I honestly don't know whether this is $20K, $30k, or $100K worth of graphite in a freezer. I think they were being squirlly on purpose about the answer, but my gut tells me that the right one leans toward the higher amount. Regardless, it was impressive to see this much raw graphite, especially considering this was one of two walk-in freezers loaded with the stuff.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • September 5, 2013

    Rethinking Fly Rod Warranties

    By Kirk Deeter

    Every few years the issue of fly rod warranties generates some heated debate among manufacturers, fly shop owners, and consumers, then disappears. This year might be different. David Leinweber, owner of Angler's Covey in Colorado Springs, wrote an open letter to the industry demanding that rod warranties be rethought, and in the last few weeks, I've heard more buzz on the topic from more sources than I can remember. [ Read Full Post ]

  • September 3, 2013

    Fishing With An Heirloom

    By Kirk Deeter

    My father-in-law passed away a little over a year ago. Fred Warner was the reason I got serious about fly fishing. He was an avid fly angler; I was dating his daughter. I knew I wouldn't make the cut unless I learned the sport. Right up until he died I joked with him that I could have been a doctor, or a lawyer, or a captain of industry, but for the fact that he gave me that fly fishing bug.

    As it happens, we're now helping my wife's mom move to a new place, and as part of that, I just received two things that my father-in-law had earmarked for me:  He left me a Benelli Super Black Eagle shotgun with which to shoot ducks, and he left me a fly rod. It's a classic. An H.L. Leonard "Golden Shadow" 9-foot 5-weight. 

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • August 28, 2013

    UV Lures: Fish Catchers or Just a Groovy Gimmick?


    By Joe Cermele

    Unlike human eyes, which require a black light to see the ultraviolet reflectivity of Jimi Hendrix posters and lava lamps, fish eyes—at least those of many predator species—can see reflected UV light naturally. And that’s driving a whole new approach to fishing lure design.

    Baits: 1. Storm Giant Flatstick 22 MadFlash; 2. Rapala Deeptail Dancer UV Bright; 3. Storm Wiggle Wart MadFlash; 4. Panther Martin FishSeeUV; 5. Tightlines UV Craw; 6. Storm ThunderStick MadFlash

    According to Zack Jud, a fisheries biologist at Florida International University, there are two reasons why fish have developed the ability to see reflected UV light. First, perceiving UV-reflective patterns on fish skin helps them recognize a mate or an enemy. The other reason is because food sources such as transparent plankton are much easier to pick out when they’re reflecting UV light. [ Read Full Post ]

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